American Welding & Tank LLC (AWT), a Division of Taylor-Wharton International LLC, has announced the consolidation of propane tank manufacturing and refurbishing service operations at the Jesup, Georgia factory into the company’s four remaining facilities.

The Jesup production and process services will be transferred to facilities at Fremont (Ohio), Crossville (Tennessee), Bloomfield (Iowa) and Salt Lake City (Utah), current operations at the plant scheduled to cease on, or around, 17th January 2009.

Approximately sixty employees will be furloughed as a result of the relocation. However, other operations, such as the head fabrication plants, at the Jesup location remain unaffected by the closure of the propane tank facilities and continue production.

Mike Larson, President of AWT, explained the reasons for the decision, “Declining demand for propane tanks across the US have forced us to right-size our manufacturing footprint to more efficiently serve our customers from our other four existing factories.”

Nevertheless, the company remains focused on the benefits of integrating the Jesup propane tank facility.

“We expect this consolidation will be transparent to our customers and suppliers and do not anticipate any delays in shipments or deliveries. We have sufficient capacity at our four remaining factories to satisfy demand and the restructuring will provide an opportunity for approximately 6-10 additional jobs at our Fremont, Ohio plant,” added Larsen.

Jerry Gilliam, AWT’s Director of Operations, added, “The consolidation of the Jesup production into our remaining four facilities will also generate manufacturing efficiencies, streamline administrative duties and provide opportunities to leverage raw materials, inventories and labour skills.”

According to AWT, the relocation will also provide the company’s clients with the opportunity to consolidate shipments and collect the resulting transportation savings. In addition, a reduction of AWT’s environmental imprint as a result of a decrease in energy consumption and waste generation, is cited as a further benefit.